NFL Draft News & Analysis

Chicago Bears 7-round mock draft: Chicago grabs Caleb Williams and Jer'Zhan Newton in Round 1

2K0H2N3 Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) sets up to pass in a NCAA college football game against the Stanford Cardinal, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Stanford, Calif. USC beat the Stanford 41-28. (Spencer Allen/Image of Sport) Photo via Credit: Newscom/Alamy Live News

 

Caleb Williams remains the pick at the top: Nothing has happened within that time to make anybody believe the Bears would make any other pick, especially with Justin Fields now off the roster. 

What do the Chicago Bears do if none of the big three WRs are left at No. 9?: With Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze off the board, the Bears could opt to improve their interior defensive line. 

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As we have entered the month of April, it’s time to open back up the team mock draft series, this time expanding it to seven rounds. Today, we have the Chicago Bears.


Round 1, Pick 1: QB Caleb Williams, USC 

Not a big surprise here with this one. Caleb Williams has been the projected No. 1 overall pick for more than a year now. Nothing has happened within that time to make me believe the Bears would make any other pick, especially with Justin Fields now off the roster. 

Round 1, Pick 15: (Trade) DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

  • Bears get: Picks 15, 42, 82
  • Colts get: Picks 9, 75

In this mock draft simulation, Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze were all off the board. So it gave me a good chance to switch things up and get into Ryan Poles' mind. If none of the big three wide receivers are available, I think they would look to move down. Indianapolis, in need of both a highly talented cornerback and a highly talented Brock Bowers, could look to move up – unlikely with Ballard — but I liked it for Chicago, so I explored it. 

In this scenario, the Bears move off of No. 9 to No. 15, get Indianapolis’ second-round pick while swapping third-round picks so the Colts pick earlier in the third round.

As for what the Bears did at No. 15, I went with Newton. The Bears might have a bigger “need” at edge than interior along their defensive line, but their young defensive linemen can't rush the passer like Newton. Newton would be DT1 right away in Chicago, even with what they have now. 

Round 2, Pick 46: WR Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

With no wide receiver in the first round, I still wanted to get the Bears a passing weapon with their second-round pick. I didn’t have to go this direction, but the idea of a triple-threat receiver room called to me, and the trio of Keenan Allen, D.J. Moore and Polk was too good to pass up. With as good as Polk was outside the numbers the past few seasons, his vertical contested-catch ability would fit perfectly with what Allen and Moore already bring to the table. 

Round 3: Pick 82: (Trade) OG Mason McCormick, South Dakota State

  • Bears get: Picks 15, 42, 82
  • Colts get: Picks 9, 75

With their third-round pick, which ended up being a few picks further down the draft due to the trade in the first round, I have the Bears fortifying their interior offensive line with Mason McCormick. He was a standout at the Shrine Bowl, which was no surprise given his tape, as he was constantly winning in the trenches at the FCS level. Nate Davis and Teven Jenkins are the projected starters right now on the interior, but Jenkins has yet to play a full season. McCormick started an incredible 57 games in a row in college as the interior iron man and fits the Bears' mentality in the trenches. 

Round 4: Pick 122: EDGE Xavier Thomas, Clemson 

We opted for Newton in the first round over an edge rusher, and I didn’t love the value of any of the edge rushers on the board in the second or third rounds. I lucked out by grabbing Xavier Thomas in the fourth round. To me, Thomas has the talent level of a mid-Day 2 edge rusher. His smaller stature, weight and arm length might push him down the board for some teams, as will the fact that he was in college for six years (missing most of 2022 with a foot injury). His relentless play style is tough to pass up here, though. He is explosive out of his stance and has elite quickness from his hands to his feet. His projected draft position is all over the place, but he would be a great addition to the Bears defensive line right now, even as just a specialized pass-rusher. 

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